Inca Trail Trek 4D/3N Private Tour
Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history
Total Distance: 43km/26 miles
Good For: Special occasions or groups of friends
Considerations: Permit required
Priced per person
Two trekkers: $1250 per person
Three trekkers: $1200
Four trekkers: $1100
Five trekkers: $950
Six trekkers: $775
Seven trekkers: $725
Eight, or more, trekkers: $690
Day 1: Cusco – KM 82 – Ayapata
On the night before your Machu Picchu hike, there will be a briefing with your trekking tour guide, at 6:30 p.m. at your hotel. We can arrange this for a different time if needed. In the morning we will pick you up from your hotel with our private transportation (time depending on your location). You will take a stunning drive to the trailhead KM 82, and see a great view of the Andes along the way. Your chef will prepare breakfast at the trailhead and display your passport to the checkpoint. Finally, you will start the first two and a half hours of the hike. It will be pretty flat until you arrive at the Inca site of Llactapata. You will have the first taste of Incan culture, and learn about the history of Peru. After your first Inca lesson, it will be another hour and a half until we arrive at the lunch stop. After lunch, we will have some time to rest and then continue for another two and a half hours until we reach our first camp at Ayapata.
Walking Distance: 14 km
Camp Site Elevation: 3,300 meters
Day 2: Ayapata – Dead Women’s Pass – Pacaymayo – Chaquicocha
You will be woken up with a hot cup of coca tea at 4:45 a.m, followed by a nutritious breakfast. At 6:15 a.m., we will begin hiking towards the highest point of the Inca Trail, Dead Women’s Pass (4,215 meters). It will be a four-hour climb, through different microclimates, with amazing views of the mountains. It is difficult trekking at this elevation, so there will be a lot of breaks along the way. Once you reach the summit, your porters will be waiting with a hot glass of tea, and you will have some time to enjoy it. You will then hike for another hour and a half downhill through Inca steps until you arrive at your lunch spot. After lunch, you will have another four hours, including breaks until you will reach your campsite at Chaquicocha. There you will get to visit two Inca sites, Runku Raccay and Sayacmarka. You will finish the day with dinner at the campsite.
Walking Distance: 16 km
Campsite Elevation: 3,600 meters
Day 3: Chaquiccoha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna
You will be woken up with a hot cup of tea, followed by breakfast. Following, you will begin your two-hour hike to the last pass of Phuyupatamarca, which is at 3,680 mm. This section has unique views of the Vilcabamba mountain range and Salkantay mountain. On the three hour continuation to our campsite, we will visit two Inca sites, Phuyupatamarca (Village above Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun).
Along the way, you will discover different types of plants, flowers, and birds in the forest. After lunch, you may take the five-minute walk to the most beautiful Inca site of the trail, Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). This place is full of impressive buildings and terraces. Around 5:30 p.m., you will go back to the campsite for your last happy hour and dinner. Then a small ceremony, to say thank you, and goodbye to your amazing “green machine” porters. If you choose, you may leave a gift to say thank you. You may find more information on that under the tab Included.
Walking Distance: 10 km
Camp Elevation: 2,600 meters
Day 4: Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Return to Cusco
Breakfast will be at 4 a.m., and then we will head to the checkpoint. Walking this one hour section to Sun Gate is exciting because you will see Machu Picchu for the first time. After taking some photos, it will be one more hour to the actual ruins.
Once finished, you will walk to the checkpoint of Machu Picchu, where you can get a stamp on your passport and store your bag if you so choose. Your guide will lead you around the Machu Picchu complex for two hours, teaching you about this marvelous place. Following the end of the tour, you will have time to continue on your own, or if you have previously arranged to hike Huayna Picchu, you will begin then. Around 1:30 p.m. you will depart from Machu Picchu, and take the bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch, on your own. Your train out of Aguas Calientes will be at 2:55 p.m. or 4:45 p.m., depending on availability. You will return to Ollantaytambo or Poroy station, and we will transfer you back to your hotel around 7 or 8 p.m.
Walking Distance: 5 km
Machu Picchu Elevation: 2,400 meters
Professional Guides: All of our guides studied English and tourism at Cusco National University. They grew up in the Cusco region, and have a passion for teaching others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Permits: As soon as we receive your details and a deposit, we will purchase your permits (pending availability, check our Inca Trail Availability link). These permits are for a specific date and in your name. They can’t be changed, once confirmed. Only your passport number is allowed to be updated. The permit includes an entrance to Machu Picchu.
Briefing: The night before your Machu Picchu hike, you will come to our office for your briefing. You will receive your duffel bag that will stay with your porters, while you hike. This bag should not exceed 7kg/14 lbs and does need to include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
Porters: We include a personal porter, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this. You will not have access to your duffel bag until your evening campsite.
Transportation: All of your transportation will be included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 4 a.m. (unless you are staying in Ollantaytambo) and brought to KM 82 to begin your trek. The Expedition Class Train back from Aguas Calientes is included but can be upgraded to the Vistadome Train for $75 per person. Once you arrive at the train station, you will be brought back to your hotel in Cusco. Also, included is your round-trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
Equipment: Alpaca Expeditions has the best equipment. We use Eureka Timberline 4 tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent to enjoy your meals in.
Food: The Alpaca Expeditions chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have loved. We honor all food restrictions, so be sure to add any that you have on your booking form and let your guide know at your briefing. Food is typically all served family-style.
You will enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day for the trek along with a happy hour of tea and snacks. A snack will be provided each morning for you to enjoy along the hike. Your last meal with your chef will be after breakfast on day four. Lunch the last day is not included.
Water: Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, Alpaca Expeditions will supply all the water needed. This water is boiled, filtered, and then cooled before distributing. You must bring your own water bottles and or camelback. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. You will be able to refill your water at each meal.
First Aid: Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training sessions every February, which every single Alpaca tour guide must attend. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical situations (traveler´s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. We will get you off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible if needed, and ensure you get directly to a clinic for treatment.
Extras: We believe it´s the attention to small details that separates us from other tour companies. Every trekker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mattress for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking, and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best vacation.
Satellite Phones: Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While all our guides are prepared and trained to deal with most issues clients have on the mountain. Being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe. Radios, which all our guides have, are limited in how far they can reach, so Alpaca Expeditions has added Satellite Phones to every trek. Every guide will have a fully charged phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to connect us anywhere in the world. And they can be used by our clients for non-emergencies as well. While they are not cheap to use, they are available just in case you need to check in on the puppy you left at home with grandma.
Rentals: Every trekker needs a sleeping bag when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional but encouraged. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent:
Sleeping Bag: $20
Inflatable Air Mattress: FREE ON PRIVATE TREK
Walking Sticks (Pair): $15
Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45-minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep if you are scared of heights. You would do this after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $75. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance, due to popularity. Please understand that the weather is out of our control.
We can depart any day of the week, as long as permits are available. Please remember, permits are only needed for your start date. Our season runs from March through January. Private treks are based on the number of people in a group.
Priced per person
Two trekkers: $1250 per person
Three trekkers: $1200
Four trekkers: $1100
Five trekkers: $950
Six trekkers: $775
Seven trekkers: $725
Eight, or more, trekkers: $690
$35 off per person
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using a University Student Card our under 17-years-old, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount.
Please send all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information about STUDENT CARD
As you see in our Additional Options, there are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.
Huayna Picchu: $75 per person
Vistadome Train (one way): $75 per person
Sleeping Bag Rentals: $20 per person
Air Matts (Inflatable matts): INCLUDED FOR FREE
Set of Walking Sticks: $15 per person
Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45-minute hike to the top. While this hike is done on your own, your guide will direct you to where this hike begins. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you with advance notice.
The ticket is $75 per person.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu mountain is the other mountain that stands above the Machu Picchu ruins. It offers even more stunning views than Huayna Picchu but takes an hour and a half to reach the top. For this trek, it will be an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you.
This ticket is $75 per person.
All our tours include the Expedition Train. This train is usually booked at 4:22 p.m., leaving from Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome Train is an upgraded train that offers slightly larger seats, windows, and even some entertainment. Usually, the Vistadome train is booked for 4:43 p.m. and travels to Poroy, a train station closer to Cusco. While this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel.
This train is $75 per person.
Getting to Cusco
The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.
The best way to get to Cusco is by air, and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land, and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available, and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.
Any extra luggage you have with you can be left safely in Cusco at either your hotel or with us at the Alpaca Expeditions while you trek. We will store your luggage on the morning of your trek and return it once you are back in Cusco. Make sure your bags have tags on them, so they are easy to locate.
As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. For this reason, we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek in the Andes. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do, so if you have more time to acclimate, you won´t be bored.
With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office, and we will help you get to a doctor.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee, since they will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
Remember, the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness if they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slow, and it will give your body time to adjust to the elevation. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medication such as Acetazolamide and Dexamethasone to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to high altitude, and continue to take it while you are at high altitude. You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly and drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away. Alpaca Expedition guides are trained to help you get through it.
Of course, the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December, so just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.
Also, be ready for four seasons. Trekking in the Andes involves various microclimates, and you will need to be prepared. Layers are always essential since they are easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evening will be cold.
Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February, and every single Alpaca guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical situations (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They will take good care of you.
In case something unexpected happens, and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way off the trail and to a clinic. You will never be left alone; you will have a member of the team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.
To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Getting travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. We work with a great agency in the United States, that has helped to make it easy and affordable. What an excellent way to protect yourself while you are visiting Peru.
If interested in booking through our trusted partner, Ahart, Frinzi & Smith, CLICK HERE.
Alpaca Expeditions uses biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups as well. We also use chemical environmentally-friendly portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.
Alpaca Expeditions is proud of the work we do for our community, as this is the main focus of our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with the needs their families were missing. We have supported local schools by giving them computers and books. Alpaca Expeditions also sponsors a teacher at the village where most of our porters come from and ensures their children have the best opportunity for education.
We buy all our food from local farmers and markets and serve the freshest ingredients. We provide English classes for all our team: guides, porters, chefs, and drivers. We are also building a house for our porters. By giving them a safe and comfortable place to stay before and after our treks, they no longer need to sleep on the floor at a friend's house.
And twice every year we bring our porters and their families to Machu Picchu. The men and women who work tirelessly have never visited the Lost Citadel of the Incas. So that makes this trip our favorite to-do. It is an honor to show them this place.
We are always looking to do more and for partners. Please let us know about your ideas, and we will work to help.
Personal Porter Included
All of our camping treks include porters, who are responsible for carrying and setting up all equipment. They will also carry the duffel bag you receive at your briefing the night before your trek. Each duffel bag can not exceed 7kg/14lbs and must include your sleeping bag and air mat.
The Alpaca Expedition porters are all provided a proper uniform, salary, and insurance. They are the backbone of our company.
- Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
FOR YOUR DUFFEL:
Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
- 2-3 wicking t-shirts
- 2-3 hiking pants
- 4 sets of undergarments.
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
- 1 Rain jacket and pants
- 1 sun hat
- 1 wool hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean - might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Face moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
INSIDE YOUR DAYPACKS:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.
- Water: we supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water only as we won't have time to filter water until your first lunch.
- Rain gear
- Music (IPhone)
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
FAQs on the PRIVATE CLASSIC 4D/3N INCA TRAIL TREK
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
We try to make booking as easy as possible at Alpaca Expeditions. We need a booking form that is completed and includes all details for the entire party on one form, and then a $200 deposit per person. The deposits can be paid separately, as long as we have one booking form that we can use to track payments. Once we have all deposits and details, we will then book your permits. When permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% set. All start dates, once confirmed, are guaranteed.
Only licensed Inca Trail tour operators, like Alpaca Expeditions, can secure permits from the government. Once your permits are obtained, under no circumstance can the name or start date be changed. The government only lets us change the passport number.
UPDATING PASSPORT NUMBERS
The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any government issue ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same. Also, make sure your passport does not expire six months or less from your trip.
HOW TO GET TO CUSCO
Most people will get to Cusco by air. Please remember that the Cusco airport is for domestic travel only. If you come directly from overseas through Lima, you must get your bags in Lima and re-check them for your flight to Cusco. Four airline carriers fly roundtrip between Lima and Cusco. That includes LATAM Airlines, AVIANCA Airlines, Star Peru, and Peruvian Airlines. They all offer similar schedules and in-flight service, but we usually recommend either LATAM airlines or AVIANCA. They tend to be the most helpful when unexpected flight cancellations or delays occur.
WHERE TO STAY IN CUSCO
While you can stay at any hotel in Cusco, the city is becoming more challenging to navigate by car. Many roads, especially near the main square, are open to pedestrian traffic only. We will notify you if it is not possible to pick you up by car and arrange another meeting point for pick up/drop off. For a list of recommended hotels, please ask your Alpaca Expeditions sales rep.
CAN I STAY IN THE SACRED VALLEY
Ollantaytambo is the best place to stay other than Cusco. By staying in Ollantaytambo, you get a little more sleep, because we will pick you up about 1.5 hours after the Cusco pick up time. You can only have your briefing in Cusco. So please arrange a time that works for you and our office team with your Alpaca Expeditions sales rep.
CAN I SPEND AN EXTRA NIGHT IN AGUAS CALIENTES
Of course, if you are ok with taking the same train out of Aguas Calientes that is part of your original itinerary, which is typically at 4:22 that evening than there is no additional charge to move the train back a day. If you need us to secure your hotel or another visit to Machu Picchu, this will be an additional cost. If you do choose to spend one more night in Aguas Calientes, make sure you tell the Alpaca Expeditions office at least one month in advance, so your train ticket is purchased for the right day.
WHAT TYPE OF ELECTRICAL OUTLETS ARE USED IN PERU
Most hotels and even homes in Peru now have the standard US outlet and also the South American outlet.
DURING YOUR TRIP
HOW CHALLENGING IS THE TREK
While you don't need any specific training to do the 4 Day Inca Trail, being fit will help. The best preparation for the trek is treadmill exercises with steep inclines and stairs. The second day will be your toughest day, as you will climb up two peaks that day.
DO YOU NEED HIKING BOOTS
We, always recommend light hiking boots if possible. Ones with ankle support are extra helpful, especially for the inexperienced hiker. Because you will be climbing down so many steps created by the Incas, now uneven and at varying heights, the extra support helps from twisting your ankles.
WHERE DO I STORE MY LUGGAGE
All of your luggage is not needed for the trek and should stay in Cusco. All hotels are very accommodating and quite used to storing luggage on-site, or you can safely store with the Alpaca Expeditions team.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AS FAR AS WEATHER
Please understand that this is an impossible question for us to answer. Historically April through September is the dry season, November through February is the rainy season and March and October and bridge months - a mixture of both. But the clouds have not followed these rules in the last few years. Prepare for sun and rain no matter when you come. As far as temperatures go, that is consistent throughout the year. Mornings and evenings are always cold. Make sure to bring a fleece jacket for the mornings and a down jacket for the evenings. Once the sun is up, you should be comfortable hiking and touring Machu Picchu in short sleeves. Long pants (yoga or hiking) are encouraged to help from the mosquitos, which can be a nuisance in Aguas Calientes.